Coronavirus hit almost half of Australian businesses even before social distancing, ABS reveals


March 26, 2020 12:03:23

Almost half of Australian businesses surveyed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) say they have experienced an adverse impact as a result of COVID-19.

The ABS is releasing extra data to show how the coronavirus pandemic is hitting businesses and the economy.

It said almost 90 per cent of businesses across the country were expected to be impacted in future months.

But the data for the current figures was collected in mid-March, before the Federal Government introduced social-distancing rules to control the spread of the disease.

The ABS said the adverse impacts were most prevalent in accommodation and food services, with over three-quarters of businesses (78 per cent) already reporting impacts and 96 per cent reporting that they expected impacts in coming months.

Those least likely to have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 in the collection period were professional, scientific and technical services (21 per cent); electricity, gas and water supply (34 per cent); and mining (37 per cent).

A reduction in local demand was the most common impact experienced (82 per cent) and was also the most common impact expected in the coming months (81 per cent).

Of impacted businesses, more than one-third had experienced staff shortages (36 per cent) and 59 per cent expected to experience staff shortages in coming months.

The ABS is doing a series of surveys over the coming months to help measure the economic impact of coronavirus.

This is the first in its series.

More to come.













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March 26, 2020 12:02:23

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